Trump again calls N. Korea problem ‘mess’

WASHINGTON-- U.S. President Donald Trump again called the North Korean situation a "mess" as he criticized his predecessor Barack Obama's handling of foreign policy and economic issues.

"I inherited a mess, I inherited a mess in so many ways. I inherited a mess in the Middle East, and a mess with North Korea, I inherited a mess with jobs ... I inherited a mess on trade," Trump said in an interview with the Time magazine published Thursday.

Trump made a similar remark earlier this week, saying what's happening in North Korea is "disgraceful and not smart, not smart at all."

The Trump administration has been critical of Obama's North Korea policy, known as "strategic patience," which centers on waiting for Pyongyang to show good faith while increasing sanctions and pressure on the regime. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a trip to Seoul last week that the policy of strategic patience has ended.

The new North Korea policy is expected to focus on significantly ramping up pressure on Pyongyang.

Tillerson said that two decades of diplomatic efforts to disarm the North failed, and there was no point in pursuing the diplomatic path any longer. He also said that the U.S. was considering a wide range of options, including the use of military force.

Trump has repeatedly expressed concerns about the North's nuclear and missile threats, especially after Obama warned that the North will be one of Trump's biggest foreign policy challenges when they met at the White House after Trump's election.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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